Today we learned the following from Argentina:
- One of the passengers, Claudio Uberti , was dismissed from position as assistant to the Planning Ministry. The said minister, De Vido, seems to be in trouble too.
- A judge decided that there are causes to investigate further the case, seized all of the 800 000 USD of the bag. there is no word as to the current whereabouts of Antonini. Apparently he left the country without bothering to recover the 400 000 that he could still recover if that cash were legitimate. Amazingly Clarin has found more information about Antonini than what we found about him in Venezuela so far.
- President Kirchner, sensing political trouble acted swiftly, not only asking for at least one head but going on the offensive saying that his government was effectively fighting corruption as the dismissals are supposed to suggest. Well, at least we will give him credit to remove the blatant cases of corruption in Argentina, which is not the case in another country closer to our hearts.
Because indeed, that is the point: while in Argentina things are moving, an investigation is taking place, some actions are done, in Venezuela the day was characterized by what DID NOT happen.
First, the Argentine press noted that the Venezuelan vice president made this whole business yet again a media manipulation from an international conspiracy. La Nacion goes as far as giving the article the following title "Venezuela takes distance again from the scandal", a clear allusion at the desire of chavismo to avoid its responsibility. Even better, ENARSA press representative complains about the nerve of the Venezuelan air hitchhikers to bring along such a suspect character as Antonini. In fact La Nacion uses the words "shot at the Caribbeans" as a clear ethnic prejudiced expression to qualify Venezuelans as not serious characters (or worse). In all fairness, it is hard to blame them after such a pitiful Venezuelan display, when Antonini left the country in a hurry..........
Indeed, the actions of Venezuelan officials were today less than stellar. If the Vice President was his usual self, the Republic Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez was at his worst, or best depending on your angle. He simply said that it was an Argentinean problem, that any crime was perpetrated there, and that he would wait for the Argentina report to see if there were any cause worth opining an investigation at home.
Some one should explain to Isaias that there is a stringent currency exchange control in Venezuela and that if, say, this blogger were caught at an airport with 10 000 USD he would be in great trouble.
And we should not forget that this prosecutor is the one who, based on a deep look in the eyes of a Colombian criminal, found enough evidence in that look to jail a few people for the Anderson case that remains to date unsolved. In fact, he has no problem in keeping Patricia Poleo out in exile even as his whole case on the Anderson murder has completely collapsed and we have lost all hope to ever know who the heck was behind it all... but perhaps I should not be so hard on Isaias: at least he sort of told us not to worry, that nothing will be done about Antonini larceny.
Only Luis Vielma, one of the few chavista servants with an ounce of dignity left, told us that an investigation should be done because customs laws were broken. I bet you that this stand will come back to bite Vielma in the ass once Chavez comes back to Venezuela from his gift giving tour of LatAm.
So you see again why Chavez wants to close media such as RCTV and Globovision: these people do try to inquire the way the Argentina media inquired and already got one head. Chavez does not like that, he does want only submissive media which spend their time praising the great leader of the revolution. Go to ABN and search for news of PDVSA employees taking along with them a guy and his money bag. Nothing! You will find only stupid glorification of Chavez giving Venezuelan property as if it were his and only his to give around, and the speech of the Vice President of course.
Let RCTV and Globovision be closed and Venezuelans will not know anymore about official money laundering, about the sacking of the country by Chavez cronies. At a time by the way where corruption is reaching unequaled heights in our history.